In Their Eyes
Looking into their eyes on a warm October day was a turning point in the ministry of Widows Link. Marlene had the honor and opportunity to sit down with widows, widowers, and caregivers at Maranatha Village in Springfield, Missouri. The majority of the residents of this village are former missionaries, pastors, directors, and other Assemblies of God ministers in all different roles. These wonderful people have given much of their lives in service to others.
Now they live their lives in a community designed to cater to their needs and help them enjoy the rest of their lives. Marlene coordinated an opportunity to sit down in small groups with different widows, widowers, and caregivers. Her goal was to gather wisdom and understanding of what life looks like through the eyes of these special people.
Though Marlene has been in ministry her entire life, this was an eye opening experience. This was also a first for many of these individuals to have their voices heard by someone who has dedicated her life to ministering to them. Within these small groups, each person was able to share a little bit of their story, their past and present struggles, and to help Marlene understand what widows, widowers, and caregivers need the most.
One specific caregiver shared within the small group that while his entire life is dedicated to serving and helping his wife live as comfortably and fully as possible, the nurses who come into their home to provide aid are under orders to observe and report any red flags they see. This man works hard to fulfill the covenant he made before God to serve and love his wife till death do them part. And now, he is under constant pressure and stress to make sure every word he speaks to his ailing wife is approved by these nurses. They have even gone so far as to threaten to bring him up on charges of verbal abuse.
This is just one man’s story of the life of a caregiver. This entire weekend was full of these men and woman of God sharing their insights and wisdom with Widows Link. This will assist us in having a better understanding, so that we may equip the local church to minister to people like this husband. Throughout the week there was a clear theme: these wonderful people need time and support.
They need time with others, time away, someone showing that they are still cared for, still remembered. After losing your spouse to either death or a difficult disease, it is very common to begin losing your connection with the outside world. Life just isn’t the same. It is so easy for those of us whose lives continue on just as before to forget those whose life will never again be the same. This weekend was an eye opener for Marlene but also a weekend where her purpose and passion were solidified all the more. There are people out there who need us; they need our love and our time. They need to feel that they still have a purpose in life and that someone cares enough to take action and reach out. That is where you and I step in - that is why Widows Link was created. We are to care for the widows (James 1:27) and that includes more than just money, but also our time.
We challenge you to take today to reach out to a widow, caregiver, or shut-in. With the holidays fast approaching, take time to plan a meal, invite a widow to your family Thanksgiving, or put aside money to take them out to eat. Use your time and your resources to be Christ and care for those who are alone and desperately in need of love and encouragement. If you do not know how to get involved, contact us here under the contact page and we can help give ideas and begin pointing you in the right direction.